You asked for it! Freezer-friendly meal series is coming at you! This recipe will be the first in this series, so expect more coming soon! Full transparency: I adapted this one from my OG cooking inspiration, my dad! I put my own spin on it and changed some methods, but the overall flavor profile and ingredient list is similar. Thanks Dad! (Skip to recipe.)
Anyway, this recipe is full of flavor and nutrition, perfect for stocking the freezer for a busy day or for the night you whip it up for a relatively simple dinner. I used farro as my base, which I know isn’t necessarily an ingredient most people have on hand or are even familiar with. You can substitute with brown rice or even pasta if you prefer.
Farro is a grain that when cooked, looks like a cross between an oat and barley. It has a nice chew to it and my four year old requests it regularly. It’s full of fiber and protein and makes a nice addition to any pantry to change up the way you incorporate whole grains into your diet.
That brings me to the chicken. I rarely leave the grocery store without picking up a few rotisserie chickens. They’re inexpensive and a great shortcut. As soon as I get home, I shred the chickens and store the meat in a tupperware in the refrigerator to be used for a multitude of quick meals. For this meal, I used two heaping cups of my rotisserie chicken. If you prefer, you can absolutely use chicken breast. Just poach them in water or stock for 20 minutes and shred as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. You may want to season them with a bit of salt and pepper if you do use raw chicken as the rotisserie version is already pre-seasoned.
Ok on to the recipe. To start, you need to prepare the farro according to the package directions and set it aside. In a large bowl, combine the farro, bell pepper, onion, corn, beans, tomatoes, chicken, and seasoning. Now you have options. Either bake the whole thing now, or split it in two to save. If saving, divide into two large freezer bags, being sure to get all the air out.
You’ll see I freeze it flat so once solid, I can stand them up like file folders and make the most of the space I have. Label them with the date and instructions for cooking. “Thaw completely; Top with cheese and breadcrumbs; Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes”. This will keep about 3 months in the freezer and your future self will thank you for planning ahead!
If baking, use an 8×8 or 9×13 pan, spreading the mixture evenly. The 8×8 creates a casserole with more chew and moisture while the 9×13 gives more surface area for cheese and crunch. Chef’s choice! Top the mixture with breadcrumbs and cheese and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
Serve it as is or top with tortilla chips for crunch and some greek yogurt as a sour cream dupe. Let me know what you think and if you make it your own.
Tex-Mex Chicken and Farro Casserole
A freezer-friendly family dinner with flair.
- 3 cups cooked farro (1 cup uncooked)
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
- 1 15.5oz can cannelloni beans, rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (Rotisserie or about 2 breasts, poached)
- 2 tsp dried cilantro
- 3 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, plain
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients up to garlic powder in a large bowl. Spread mixture into casserole dish of your choosing, up to 9×13 size. If dividing for the freezer, split between two large freezer bags. When defrosted for baking, resume with step 3, using half of the breadcrumbs and cheese for each bagged portion.
- Top with breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 min. Allow to cook completely before eating.